Month: April 2008

Though it’ll be in tomorrow’s print edition, today’s online Atlanta Journal-Constitution features a lovely article about a West End resident, complete with an awesome photo gallery.

Barbara English’s home will be featured this weekend in the West End Tour of Homes, which will be on and popping this Saturday and Sunday.

West End Tour of Homes picture featured in the AJC

(Unquestionably the Wren’s Nest staff’s favorite picture. That window is 11 feet tall!)

While Lain has mentioned this weekend’s many Wren’s Nest-related events already, we’re not afraid to drive the point home. Especially since this tour of homes offers a glimpse into many gorgeous abodes that, suffice it to say, people don’t always associate with this neighborhood.

Let’s recap–

The Kickoff Concert for the Tour of Homes featuring Theresa Hightower is here at the Wren’s Nest on Friday, May 2nd at 7 pm. Tickets for the concert are $25.

The Actual Tour of Homes will run on Saturday, May 3rd and Sunday May 4th from 1 – 5 pm. Tickets for the tour are $15.

You can buy tickets for both the concert and the tour here.

The Wren’s Nest will be open from 10 – 5 that Saturday and 12 – 5 that Sunday.

And maybe, if you’re lucky, we’ll put our terrifying dummies on the porch to celebrate the occasion.

Yesterday was one of the worst days I’ve had at the Wren’s Nest. We were scheduled to tell stories for about 80 children up in Buckhead, and nobody showed up.


I woke up yesterday morning with two emails in my inbox: (1) “Where is our storyteller?” and (2) “I missed my connecting flight and won’t be able to tell stories in the morning.” In other words, this is pretty much my worst nightmare.

Luckily, the winter before I took a job here, I worked at Aubuchon Hardware on the frozen tundra of northeastern Connecticut.

Aubuchon Hardware in Stafford Springs

(Pretty sweet, huh?)

I learned a lot of things, but mostly I learned about what to do when you’re mixing paint and you put in too much red paint coloring and then you only find out after the customer has put some of the paint on his house.

Here’s what I do–

  1. Apologize (Sorry I messed up your paint.)
  2. Affirm (You have every right to be upset! Very few people want to live in a pink house, and I feel you, I really do.)
  3. Explain* (I must have put in too much red because I don’t really know what I’m doing, plus the guy who is supposed to do it just got fired and I’m filling in for him.)
  4. Apologize Again (Dude, I’m so sorry.)

Note: this is also helpful if you’re making keys and the key doesn’t work the first four times you do it.

Aside from giving the guy his money back, the best thing you can do–I think–is affirm the complaint. Even if you’re sleep-deprived, underpaid, and overworked, protesting is futile. Once you can affirm the complaint and empathize with the customer, you’ve got a small shot at regaining their trust.

Not only do you position yourself as someone who is on their team, but you’re also seen once again as a person and not the idiot who doesn’t know what’s going on.

Aside from that, I don’t know what to do, besides not dwelling on the past and ensuring it doesn’t happen again. Any other suggestions?

*Sometimes, if you do something really boneheaded, there’s no explanation necessary.

In this case, I thought an explanation was necessary because most of the circumstances were outside of my control. Being stranded in a different city at 11 pm is no fun, especially when you can’t find my cell phone number.

West End Tour of Homes not your thing? We’ve got you covered.

The Wren’s Nest is helping put on the Decatur Storytelling Festival next Saturday, May 3rd.

Decatur Storytelling Festival Presented by the Wren's Nest

It’s a first year festival, but I think it’ll be cool.

Two of our storytellers, Curtis and Donald, will be there spinning yarns all day. In fact, Donald’s the MC, so you know things are bound to get interesting. Here’s some more information.

If you’ve got kids or grandparents or a neighborhood at your disposal, the Wren’s Nest suggests you be at the Decatur Storytelling Festival, and then come see us on Sunday for the tour.

If you’d been planning on attending the West End Tour of Homes on Saturday, hey, no sweat! We’ll still have storytelling here at the Wren’s Nest with Miss Woodie at 1 pm.

It’s true.

Joel Chandler Harris

Yesterday, I got reprimanded for saying so.

Usually I make a point of saying that Joel Chandler Harris was a bastard for several reasons:

  1. Because it’s true.
  2. Because his mother was shunned because of it.
  3. Because the word conveys the severity of their situation.
  4. Because it’s usually funny when I say it.

It wasn’t as funny yesterday when a visitor suggested that I shouldn’t say that word. And then when I tried to explain myself, things only got more and more awkward.

The visitor explained that she herself came from a single-parent home, and she didn’t think it was appropriate for me to use the word “bastard” so off-handedly. I was very polite, once again stated my case, and finally retreated by saying that I wasn’t really a tour guide, merely the director–“what do I know?!”

But at this point it was clear that I was talking waaaay too much and was engaged in something like a verbal tar baby.

Finally I simply had to concede–yes, some people might be offended, and yes because of that, perhaps I should consider not saying the word bastard.

What I wanted to do was stamp my foot and squeal in the girliest way possible: “But it’s my museum! Oooh!


Unless you continually hit refresh on our main page, y’all will be pleased to hear that we’re having a concert at the Wren’s Nest a week from tomorrow.

Boogie Down, Y'all

The crowd boogeyed like whoa the last time we had a concert here. See?

The West End Tour of Homes starts here on Friday, May 2nd with a concert featuring Theresa Hightower. Tickets for the concert are $25.

I will be attending, that’s for sure, though mostly to coax Ms. Hightower into singing a jazz version of the Wren’s Nest theme song. You will not want to miss that.

The actual Tour of Homes will run on Saturday, Mary 3rd and Sunday May 4th. Tickets for the tour are $15.

Get this though–if you buy tickets to the Tour of Homes, you get in the Wren’s Nest for free. We’ll be open from 10 – 5 that Saturday and 12 – 5 that Sunday.

When was the last time you visited West End? Maybe next weekend would be a good time to check it out.

George Bolles Home, West End 1890

Sure, this particular house was bulldozed to build a highway, but we’ve got no shortage of beautifully restored Victorian and Arts and Crafts-style homes.

I hope to see you here next week. And I mean that. I’m not opening this place up on Sunday for nothing.

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